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A Sensory Diet: Sensory Tub One

16 February, 2012

A sensory tub is simply a small storage container filled with things of different colours and/or textures and/or smells (ok, you get the picture).  It can be filled with things fitting to a theme (such as Christmas) or just filled with random objects to explore.  The addition of scoops, funnels, spoons etc can add extra exploration possibilities.  As with play doughs, I will highlight different sensory tubs over time, but I will try not to bore you with thirty eight posts on sensory tubs across the year ;-).

This basic, first sensory tub was made with (pink) coloured rice, blue pom poms and green pipe cleaners.  After initial exploration, we also added scoops.

The best way to colour rice is to pour your rice into a metal or glass mixing bowl (I like Pyrex) and add liquid food colouring.  Then, it’s best to add either rubbing alcohol or (my preference) the anti-bacterial hand gel (waterless soap) to help the rice dry out quickly and throughly.  Leave it out on a tray overnight, if you can wait that long, before play.

The next time this tub was played with, I added a “funnel” I made from the top of a juice bottle, that I cut from the bottle and then protected the raw edges with masking tape.  I have a growing collection of other objects I can add to the tub at different times.

It’s best to do this activity on a mat as it can get quite messy.  Hard floors (like tiles or wood) also make clean up easier than carpeted areas.  However, a quick vacuum afterwards does the job.  Playing with the rice, and letting it run through your fingers, is curiously soothing.

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